Odd Bits

Road Trip Through History: Memphis and Music

November 24, 2015

Two days in Memphis. Two visits to iconic recording studios.* Two very different experiences. Just to remind anyone who doesn’t have the history of rock music in their heads: Sun Records, which bills itself as the place where rock and roll was born, was the label that launched Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, […]

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Déjà Vu All Over Again: Crowdsourcing

October 27, 2015

Earlier this year I watched fellow history buff Sarah Towles run a Kickstarter campaign for her innovative digital history projects at Time Traveler Tours and Tales. As far as I can tell, she ran a model campaign, combining the precision of Bismarck and the charm of Wellington. She’s still doing a great job at making […]

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Mercy Street (aka A Moment of Blatant Self-Promotion)

October 23, 2015

Just so you know, this is what I spent the last ten weeks doing: It’s the companion volume to a new PBS historical drama about nurses in the Civil War. The PBS series uses a real Civil War hospital as the setting for a fictionalized (and quite gorgeous) drama. (Check out some of promotional pieces […]

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This Isn’t a Blog Post.

October 20, 2015

It’s a link to a website I discovered when I was procrastinating on my Really Big Project.*  Global Middle Ages is the home site for a group of  projects that began with a teaching experiment at the University of Texas.  The charge was “to see the world whole in a large swathe of time—as a […]

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Gone fishin’

September 29, 2015

I’m up to my knees in the rushing waters of history right now.  Once I climb out, dry off, and have a reviving shot of whiskey or three,  I’ll be back in here in the Margins with new stories.  I promise.

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Art + History+ Artist

September 18, 2015

Two years ago and a bit, I shared a link with you about a video series produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art  in which curators talked about how individual pieces in the museum had changed the way they see the world.  It was charming and smart and in a short enough format that I […]

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Reading My Way Through Roman Britain, Part 3

September 15, 2015

British journalist Charlotte Higgins (It’s All Greek To Me) was always fascinated by the classical world, but that fascination didn’t extend to Roman Britain. She thought of Britain as an unglamorous outpost on the edge of the Roman Empire–an opinion shared by most Romans of the time-. A visit to Hadrian’s Wall changed her mind. […]

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Reading My Way Through Roman Britain, Part 2

September 11, 2015

Guy de la Bédoyère’s The Real Lives Of Roman Britain: A History of Roman Britain Through The Lives of Those Who Were There is not a narrative history of Roman Britain. (De la Bédoyère has already written several versions of that narrative.) It is instead an attempt to look at the 360 years of Roman […]

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Reading My Way Through Roman Britain, Part 1

September 8, 2015

Thanks to the luck of the book-review draw, I recently ended up reading two books on Roman Britain back-to-back.* The two books are very different. Guy de la Bédoyère’s The Real Lives of Roman Britain is an attempt to look at the period of Roman occupation in terms of individual human experience–a frustrating endeavor because […]

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Death in Florence

September 4, 2015

My first encounter with Girolamo Savonarola’s attempt to scourge Florence of religious corruption was George Eliot’s historical novel Romola, which I read in tiny bites as a distraction from historical history during my first year of graduate school. It was lush, dramatic, and exactly what I needed as I struggled with semiotics, deconstructionism, post-colonial theory, […]

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